Reader’s Theater Adaptation by Dorian Cirrone
Adapted from the book Lindy Blues: The Missing Silver Dollar

(Instructions: Hand out a set of nine photocopied scripts to the performers. The remaining students in the class will be the audience. Have the nine students practice their parts without an audience first. When they are familiar with the script, they can act out their parts while reading. Props may or may not be used.)

Roles:

  • Narrator 1
  • Lindy Blues (investigative reporter)
  • Alex Blues (Lindy’s brother and news photographer)
  • Narrator 2
  • Narrator 3
  • Joshua Becker (Lindy’s friend)
  • Amy Becker (Joshua’s younger sister who is missing a silver dollar)
  • Narrator 4
  •  Narrator 5

Narrator 1: Lindy Blues, your nose for news, sniffs out the news. She brings you the news. And if there is no news, she makes it up. Just kidding. Lindy Blues brings you the story behind the story. The story in front of the story. The story beside the story. Well, you get the picture – the whole story. Here’s the scoop on her latest case:

Lindy: It’s Saturday and the telephone at LBN, the Lindy Blues Network, wakes me up early. It’s a news tip. There’s been a robbery at the World Bank. If I want the story I have to rush to the White House. That’s the White House on 14th and Flamingo, the home of Joshua Becker. I race to find my photographer, Alex, who is also my little brother. Since his office doubles as his bedroom, I find him sleeping.

Alex: (His eyes are closed and he is snoring.)

Lindy: (Lindy shakes Alex.) Wake up. We’ve got a story to cover.

Alex: (Rubs his eyes.)

Narrator 1: Alex stumbles to the breakfast table. He is a very slow eater. Mainly because he eats his food in alphabetical order – one food at a time. Banana, cereal, milk, orange juice. Yuck.

Lindy: You know your food would taste much better mixed together.

Alex: (Jumps up and down.) “There. Now it’s mixed together.”

Narrator 2: Once Alex is done, he slings his camera bag over his shoulder and Lindy grabs her pen, notebook and microphone. They head to the White House. On the way, Mrs. Carlucci drives by. Mrs. Carlucci used to be a big fan of the Lindy Blues Network – until LBN reported that her cabbage soup diet didn’t appear to be working because her dress still looked tight. LBN also reported there was a funny smell coming from the Carlucci house. Like smells, news travels very fast. Since then, Mrs. Carlucci does not wave to the LBN crew. That’s when Lindy Blues learned not everyone is a fan of the truth in news reporting.

Narrator 3: When Lindy and Alex get to the White House, Joshua, a fellow fourth grader, and his seven-year-old sister, Amy, are waiting outside.

Lindy: (Lindy taps microphone twice:) Is this thing on? Testing one, two, three. This is the LBN news team reporting to you live from the White House. Mr. Becker, tell us about the robbery at the world … What?!?! Wait a minute. Stop the tape!

Narrator 3: Lindy has suddenly realized that Amy is holding a small bank in the shape of a globe.

Lindy: Is this the World Bank you were talking about? You call Reporter Lindy Blues away from the rest of the world news to cover a robbery from a piggy bank – as in oink oink? This is an outrage!

Joshua: Calm down. We’re talking about silver dollars here. Amy has been collecting them since she was born. Yesterday she had eleven dollars in her bank. But this morning, when she woke up, she only had ten dollars.

Lindy: So, Mr. Becker what we are talking about here is the theft of one dollar?

Joshua: Yes, but silver dollars can be very valuable, especially the older ones.

Lindy: Is Ms. Becker’s missing silver dollar an older one?

Joshua: Well … no, but someday it will be.

Narrator 3: Lindy cannot believe that an important reporter is covering the theft of one, as in solo, single, uno silver dollar. But it has been a slow news week and she needs a good story for tonight’s show.

Lindy: Okay. Alex, roll the tape. I’m here at the White House to cover a theft, the theft of a rare and priceless silver dollar. Ms. Becker, exactly what did this costly coin look like?

Amy: It was round and shiny and silver.

Lindy: Yes. I might have guessed that. Can you tell us any more details?

Amy: There was a picture of a woman on one side.

Lindy: And just who was this woman?

Amy: I’m not sure. She had a man’s name.

Lindy: Hmmm. A man’s name. I have an aunt named Roberta and we call her Rob. And Mrs. Carlucci’s name is Josephine and they call her Jo. Is it Rob or Jo?

Amy: No. I remember now. It’s Susan.

Lindy: Susan? Susan is not a man’s name.

Joshua: It’s not her first name that’s a man’s name. It’s her last name. It’s Susan B. Anthony.

Lindy: Note to self: Amy Becker is not the best at giving clues. Ms. Becker, are all of the dollars in your bank Susan B. Anthony dollars?

Amy: I have one five-dollar bill and all the rest are silver dollars.

Lindy: And when did you first notice that this silver dollar was missing?

Amy: This morning. I woke up, washed my hands and face, and then had a bowl of cereal with Rocky Road ice-cream on top.

Lindy: You had what for breakfast?

Amy: Cereal and ice-cream. I eat it every morning.

Lindy: Perhaps I should be investigating Amy’s eating habits instead of her lost coin. So then what did you do, Ms. Becker?

Amy: I brushed my teeth and put on my clothes. Then I took the money out of my bank to count it. And I only had ten dollars.

Lindy: You were missing one?

Amy: Yes.

Lindy: And how can you be sure that you had eleven dollars in the first place?

Amy: Because I counted my money yesterday morning.

Lindy: Do you count your money every morning, Ms. Becker?

Amy: No, of course not. That would be greedy. I counted it yesterday because I lost a tooth. I knew the Tooth Fairy would bring me a silver dollar last night because that’s what she gave me when I lost my other front tooth. See? So, I wanted to know how much I would have when she gave me the new dollar.

Lindy: Okay. Let’s go over yesterday’s events. You woke up, washed your hands and face and had cereal and ice-cream.

Amy: No, I did not. I had a hamburger and French fries.

Lindy: But I thought you said you have cereal and ice-cream every morning.

Amy: Nope. Not yesterday. Yesterday was Opposite Day.

Lindy: Opposite Day?

Joshua: That’s when you do everything opposite all day long. You know, like eat dinner in the morning and breakfast at night.

Lindy: Okay. Just who started this Opposite Day thing?

Amy: My summer camp counselor. She saw it on Channel 35.

Lindy: (Shakes her head.) Why can’t people stick to the LBN network?

Narrator 4: Just as Lindy is about to ask another question. She feels a breeze behind her. It’s Joshua Becker jumping up and down.

Joshua: (Jumps behind Lindy.)

Narrator 4: Lindy remembers Alex jumping up and down this morning.

Lindy: Breakfast?

Joshua: No thanks. I already ate.

Lindy: (Shakes her head.) Then why are you jumping up and down?

Joshua: I’m practicing.

Lindy: For what? A Mexican Jumping Bean contest?

Joshua: No. But you’re right about the contest part.

Lindy: Tell me about this contest.

Joshua: It’s a Rockin’ Rocket Contest.

Lindy: And who is participating in this contest, Mr. Becker?

Joshua: It’s between me and Will Malone. We’re going to see whose rocket goes up higher in the air. The one that goes the highest wins.

Lindy: Hmm, Mr. Becker. May I ask what kind of rocket you are using for this contest?

Joshua: It’s made out of rubber and plastic. There’s a balloon you jump on that makes the rocket shoot up in the air.

Lindy: And just how much did you have to pay for this rocket, Mr. Becker? Could it have been one dollar? One silver dollar?

Joshua: Lindy. Do you really think I’d steal from my own sister? I mean, she’s a pain sometimes, but I’d never steal from her. Besides, I got the rocket for a birthday present. Last Tuesday.

Narrator 4: Lindy remembers she covered a birthday celebration at the Becker house last week. She is beginning to think the silver dollar mystery might turn into a silver dollar nightmare for the Lindy Blues Network. The rocket contest might have to be her top story.

Lindy: May I see this rocket?

Narrator 4: Joshua pulls out a strange looking contraption. He blows up the balloon part and puts it on the ground. He sticks the red, plastic rocket in a holder attached to the balloon. He begins to count: “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six … Just as he gets to one, he bends his knees way down and jumps slightly off the ground. He lands on the balloon and yells, “Blast off!” The rocket does not seem to have heard him. Instead of blasting off, it has gone something like, “Pffft!” Amy stares at the rocket, which is lying in the grass. For a minute, she forgets about her dollar.

Amy: Too bad it still isn’t Opposite Day. You’d win the contest for sure.

Narrator 5: Just as Joshua starts to put his rocket back together, another rocket flies through the air, up and over the tall bushes that separate the Becker and Malone backyards. It lands right next to Joshua’s feet. He slumps into a nearby lawn chair.

Joshua: That’s Will Malone’s rocket. I can’t compete with that.

Narrator 5: Will Malone strolls toward Lindy and Joshua. His sister, Miranda, follows him. She is not strolling. She never strolls. She is traveling the way only Miranda Malone travels – cartwheels, flips, hand springs, crab walks. Anything but plain old steps.

Will: Has anyone seen a rocket?

Joshua: (Pointing.) Over there.

Will: Funny. There’s your rocket on the ground, but I never saw it in the air.

Narrator 6: Joshua is silent. Everyone else is silent. Then Amy breaks in.

Amy: You must have been looking the other way.

Joshua: That’s right. Because this is a great rocket. A rockin’ rocket. A rocket that’ll beat your rocket any day of the week!

Will: The Rockin’ Rocket Contest is in exactly two hours. Then we’ll see.

Narrator 6: Will picks up his rocket and strolls out of the yard. Miranda flip flops behind him. Amy looks up at Joshua.

Amy: So, Mr. Rocket Man, what are you going to do now?

Joshua: (Puts his hands on his head in desperation.) I have no idea.

Narrator 6: Can Joshua figure out how to work the rocket in time to win the contest? Can Lindy figure out who stole the missing silver dollar in time for her news show? Could it be Mrs. Carlucci who refused to wave to the LBN crew? Could it be Will Malone and his sister, Miranda? Or could the Tooth Fairy have something to do with it? Tune in and find out.

CURTAIN.